Saturday, November 28, 2009

Lame excuses

Around the web, various people are trying to come up with excuses for Phil Goff's descent into race-baiting. "It's not racist", "we're just starting a debate", "we have to talk about this" - if this sounds like Don Brash, its because he said exactly the same things back in 2004. I didn't buy it then, and I'm not buying it now. But the award for the lamest excuse surely has to go to Chris Trotter, who came up with this little gem:

Goff’s secondary audience was Maoridom itself. As a good social-democrat he was simply challenging Maori voters to recognise the reality of class.

Obviously. That's why Goff gave the speech to a bunch of dead Pakeha in Palmerston North, rather than to poor Maori in Naenae, and why he spent so much time talking about Hone Harawira, Treaty settlements, and the foreshore and seabed, rather than focusing on how the Maori Party has sold out its (mostly poor) voters in favour of iwi elites. Pull the other one - it sings the internationale.

There was only one target for Goff's speech, which Trotter correctly identifies: "the 150,000 to 200,000 former Labour voters who defected to John Key’s National party in 2008.". Trotter (and Goff, and apparently a fair whack of Labour's MPs, including some people who I had previously respected) thinks it is acceptable to try and win these people over by pandering to racism. I do not.